We’re Anticipating Change

June 30, 2006 at 9:31 pm | Posted in uncategorized | 29 Comments

Look back at your initial thoughts on the anticipation guide from the first night of class.  What has changed?  What is still unclear?  What are you certain of in terms of literacy in the content areas?

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  1. I will first say that I was not at the first session on that Friday, so I have no anticipation guide to refer back to. However I will admit that there are still things that I am unclear about. I have never taught. I’ve been in classrooms a few times. I consider myself a novice in the profession of educating. One thing that has become clear in my discussions with people who are currently teaching is the importance of getting students ready for tests. How does literacy fit in? Can the strategies be incorporated into the preparation for tests. I would have said no before, but now I believe that many of the strategies that we learned in class are excellent at getting to the students to an overall understanding level. As I was doing some of the homework assignemts, such as the vocabulary activity, I thought about how important it is for students in math to be able to recognize and understand key terms. I take this for granted, but if a student has no idea what a right angle, or right triangle is, then any question that includes those terms will be difficult for them. Anticipation guides are something that I think could be incredibly valuable. Getting the misconceptions out into the open before you start a topic is so important. It gives you a clue as to what you need to focus on, and potential roadblocks to the student’s understanding the material. I have become very relaxed on the literacy aspect of my work in the last couple of years. Literacy is the last thing on the mind of somebody taking Real Analysis.(A couple people know what I am talking about) However, there are ways to effectively teach literacy through math and it is important that students see all of their teachers following these guidelines and not just once or twice a day.

  2. Jason,
    All of the handouts from the first night were given to you. If you can’t locate the anticipation guide, please see one of us tomorrow and we’ll give you a new one. You will need to reflect on the statements on the guide in order to complete this comment.

  3. The anticipation guide that we received on the first day of class is currently in my literacy binder. Therefore, I can reflect on how I felt about the anticipation guide, but I will not be able to directly state things that were on there. I do remember that there were several questions that were controversial. Some people strongly thought one way, while others thought the total opposite. I wonder what it would be like if we kept track of who answered what. It would be interesting to see if people in the same content area answered the same way.
    The one statement that stuck out in my head was the one that stated something about teachers being responsible for making students life long readers. My thoughts still haven’t changed on this subject. We as teachers can provide our students with the resources and excitement for reading, but we can’t force them to WANT to read on their own. This class has allowed us to receive many strategies to try and “convince” our students that reading can be fun, engaging, interactive, and educational.
    I’m willing to bet that if we were to take this same anticipation guide tomorrow in class, a lot of us will answer differently. I think that anticipation guides are beneficial tools in the classroom. We can use them in the beginning of a unit to access prior knowledge and discover misconceptions. I think it would be interesting if the students recorded these answers and put them away until the end of the unit. At the end of the unit, the same anticipation guide could be given, and the students could compare their answers. This can show the students what their misconceptions were, and how much they really learned in the unit. I am a fan of anticipation guides, and I hope to use them someday!

  4. At the beginning of this course I thought, “Yeah, literacy is important I work on that in my classroom. Boy way I surprised. There is SO much that I didn’t know or didn’t recognize. The real eye-opener came though when my chemistry students took the Regents exam on the 23rd of June. I was shocked at their scores. I was expecting them to be much higher than they turned out. They got it in class, or maybe so I thought, but when it came to the test they didn’t know it. That was my initial thought, then I looked thgough the test myself and looked through the kinds of answers they were putting and started to realize that it wasn’t their chemistry knowledge that lacked it was their ability to read the questions.
    So, yes, I am a reading teacher! I have to balance the literacy training of my students with the chemistry content. This course hs brought to light many ways of doing this to. I will be starting the school year in September with a new attitude and a new set of tools to help my students.

  5. I completely agree with Jessica. I know that this is and excellent way to find misconceptions. Thinking back to the first night of class, I remember seeing Janet and Wendy just watching what we had to see and looking at where we were coming from and how much work they had to do.
    We did disagree on certain topics, and as a whole we agreed on some things, like the statement about textbooks – even before this class, we all knew they weren’t that great. I can say that I have not drastically changed my pedagogy, but I am clearer in my understanding of where literacy falls into all contents, including math. I am excited about the presentations we heard last night and I already look forward to using interactive notebooks in my future classes as a literacy tool, so thank you!
    This course and the binder we have created are going to be useful tools that I can see successfully employing in my future classrooms.

  6. When I look back at the anticipation guide activity that first night, I felt very unsure of literacy. All of the questions that were asked almost seemed foreign. I was in the midst of the questions when I thought to myself how in the world will I relate literacy to mathematics. I was also apprehensive about answering some of the questions because of the lack of knowledge I had about literacy. Well, needless to say after four weekends of learning about literacy, I learned it is all around us. Literacy is in every content area and I can use these methods in my classroom. Most importantly that it is my job to provide my students with learning opportunities that create lifelong learners. By enhancing my curriculum with literacy, I will not only be teaching them mathematics I will be teaching my students how to function in the world. I will be promoting literacy and the importance of reading, writing and comprehending. Thank you for that!

  7. Looking back at our first night and the anticipation guide that would be the foundation for what we would be learning about, I realize my initial ideas have not changed very much. I still whole heartedly agree that it is the job of all teachers to create lifelong readers and that reading independently is by no means a passive experience. Perhaps it is my own classroom experience that has allowed me to formulate these answers previously and continue to maintain my same answers. What I can say has changed is my reasoning behind my answers. I have more clear and defined reasons for why I responded the way I did that can be backed by our experience in this class. This anticipation guide really comes full circle for our class because it was used to activate our prior knowledge and for our professors to access what we already knew (pre), then we explored each topic (during) and finally we are wrapping it all up (post) and reflecting on our knowledge. Ah ha, this strategy is working! As far as what is still unclear, I really don’t have any questions that can be answered at this time. The only question that remains unanswered is how will these strategies play out in my own classroom. What will I use on a regular basis and how will it impact my teaching. We shall see…

  8. The anticipation guide for me changed slightly. The only major thing that changed for me was that for #7 I changed my answer from agree to disagree. I now see that teaching reading strategies for math is definitely a valuable portion of my teaching time.
    Also, #8 has changed. I thought before that there were limited text sources and that there were not many options for texts in my content area. I have now seen a variety of texts and sources that I have access to that my students would absolutely love to use and so would I.
    I feel so much more confident in implementing literacy strategies and actually realize that I already do many of these things on a regular basis, but now I know some funky acronym for what I am doing.
    I am certain that the need for literacy in my content area will continue to grow nad that I feel I am at the forefront of the educational system in making my students life long learners.

  9. It was funny the way some of us felt so strongly about literacy in our classrooms. It was eye-opening for many to see that we all really are reading teachers. Our students just keep getting pushed through from grade to grade, and if no one has taken the time to teach them some of these strategies that we have learned, they’ll surely be unsuccessful. That is sooo sad.
    All teachers in the classrooms would benefit from this course. Great ideas!

  10. Looking back on the questions that were asked of us and seeing what my response was, I feel that my opinions have not changed but have grown for the better. Knowing all of the strategies that have been given to us, it is even more important then ever to really incoperate literacy into the classroom, whether it be in math, science, history or art.
    As the teacher, it is your job to make sure that the students are understanding the material that you are giving them. This gives them greater responsibility for their own education. Using all of these strategies or just a few will help further your students education.

  11. Well one thing that was definitely changed is my view on the importance of literacy in learning math. I never realized what a difference it can make, just getting a thorough understanding of some of the vocabulary.
    I never experienced reading strategies other that highlighting and note-taking in my schooling so it was enlightening for me, just as a student, to learn all the various techniques. Not only do I plan on using them myself, but I will empower my students with the information they may never receive otherwise.
    Before we did the annotated bibliographies, I never imagined using anything but a math textbook to teach. But when the assignment instructions stressed creativity, my brain started to churn, and I soon came up with at least 20 very unique sources. Some were information-loaded, others just a great means to motivate and get students talking.
    I also always believed that all reading is learned when you’re young. I thought that once you reached high school, you would have learned most of what you needed, minus a few high-level science words. I believed that learning to read didnt belong in the high school classroom; only content-related material did. But with every new topic learned, new vocabulary comes up, or at least is used in a new manner. Addressing the shortcomings in reading also provides a means of ensuring lasting understanding of the concepts in each lesson. Perhaps if I had this type of teaching, I would be a chemistry teacher instead of math (well soon to be).

  12. My understanding of the uses and importance of literacy in the high school math classroom has changed quite a bit. My original anticipation guide responses tended toward the opinion that students had to come into the classroom with solid reading backgrounds (which is certainly preferable), but I hadn’t considered the impact that I, as a math teacher, could have on student reading and comprehension levels. Originally I had some concerns about the time required for reading activities when I so often hear practicing amth teachers talk about lack of time to cover course content, but I do recognize the importance now – and I don’t think I did before taking this class – at least not at the same level. While time is still a concern, I was happy to learn that many of the strategies discussed in this class don’t require much time but can still have major impact! I definitely feel that my answers to some of the anticipation gude questions would be different now – particularly when it comes to the responsibility and opportunity for content teachers to have a positive impact on student reading and writing skills.

  13. Scanning the questions:

    1) I still believe that solid reading skills are critical to learning, and all efforts should be made to be sure students entering middle school are ready.

    2) I can’t remember what I answered earlier, but I believe that scanning a text as a pre-reading strategy can work to initiate discussion.

    3) Yes! Simply memorizing definitions doesn’t stick. Learning a word in context does.

    4) It’s the job of all teachers to HELP create lifelong readers (and lifelong learners).

    5) No and still no. Textbooks BAD, Lots of varied Text GOOD.

    6) Again, I don’t remember my earlier answer, but reading is ACTIVE!!!

    7) Teaching reading strategies in content areas will make learning more effective and efficient, saving time!!

    8) There are unlimited text sources that may be used – just need to look!

    Regarding certainty – I am certain I learned a lot. I think earlier I mentioned – “Who Knew??” Now I Know!

  14. On the first night of class I was in love with the technology piece already with the remote controlled answering and the voluntary admission of your thoughts and ideas to share with the class. Awesome! After the course and some time for reflection, I still have the same beliefs as I did that night. If anything at all has changed, it would be the emotion and drive behind my beliefs. I have the tools and knowledge to enhance my students learning in my math classroom. I also have the ambition to take these chances to help make my students better readers throughout their high school career.
    I will definitely be sharing the insights, determination and research that I have gained from this class with my colleagues. We should no longer be looking down on elementary and middle school English teachers for the reasons why our students cannot write in math, but rather look at ourselves and find a solution rather than a scapegoat.

  15. Regarding the anticipation guide that was handed out at the beginning of class. Even though I did not complete this assignment at the time, one of the question talked about whether it was the job of the teacher to create lifelong readers. Before this class, I would have thought that it was the job of the other teachers to teach literacy. Now I realize that literacy is an ongoing process that does not start or stop in any one classroom. The other question that stood out was if teaching literacy would take away from valuable content time. Initially, my answer would have been yes. Now I realize that teaching literacy can be done while actually enhancing the learning that is going on in the classroom.

  16. Whereas I initially felt that teaching reading strategies in my mathematics classroom might interfere with valuable teaching time, I have come to believe that by teaching reading strategies in my classroom student understanding will increase, easing the pressure on valuable teaching time. Good reading strategies make for independent learners. Students who are better able to read their textbooks are better able to find answers to their own questions. Students who are good readers are better able to make connections with mathematics and the outside world. Alternative texts offer these connections which make for greater understanding. Understanding the vocabulary of mathematics provides the foundation necessary for the algorithms and processes which we teach in mathematics. Being able to sort the words of a problem clearly helps students excel in math class. Now, after having played with, read and written about and explored such strategies, I have come to believe that they will definitely support my mathematics curriculum.

  17. The first question asks if students should have a solid reading and writing background by the time they reach middle school. I agreed with this statement in the beginning, but now I disagree. I believe that middle school students are still developing their skills. It is important to provide them with the tools to improve their reading and writing skills.
    The second question proclaims that students should only discuss reading after they have read. I still disagree with this statement. Students should discuss reading before, during, and after they read. This provides more time for processing the information.
    I believe that students need to be able to connect the vocabulary to what they are learning in order to make it meaningful; therefore, I agree with #3 that vocabulary should be taught in the context of a lesson.
    I still agree with #4 that teachers should inspire students to be lifelong readers. In order to be a lifelong learner, you have to be a lifelong reader.
    I disagreed with #5 that textbooks are an adequate resource. I think it is necessary to provide supplemental resources to provide reading texts that support multiple intelligences. Supplemental texts should also have real-world applications so that the students can relate to the concepts they are learning.
    I do not agree that reading is a passive experience (question 6). Reading is an active process because students are reflecting, questioning, processing, and analyzing the text.
    I disagree with #7 that teaching reading strategies in the content area takes away valuable teaching time. Teaching reading strategies will help students understand the reading better, thus understanding the content better.
    I disagree with #8 that there are limited text resources in the content areas. By researching through this class, I see that there are a plethora of text resources. These resources include textbooks, journal articles, magazines, newspapers, and blogs.
    Most of my opinions have not changed, but my opinions have been strengthened through this class. I have more information and knowledge to back up my opinions.

  18. I have learned a lot about how to help students learn to understand the books they read along with the vocabulary. I wish teachers knew the pre, during, and post-reading techniques when I was in school. The strategies have been very enlightening and I absolutely plan to use the reading and Vocabulary strategies. I have learned so much in 4 weeks that I was clueless about before. I am going to practice on my own kids. The anticipation guide got me focused on what we were about to learn I did believe teachers are who create life long learners and I do still believe this. I have learned to use other books then just the text and use lots of supplementing, which intern makes the class more interesting for the students. I have learned that students are always learning to be better readers.

  19. Before this class I was heavily interviewing for teaching jobs and the one tip that EVERYONE would give me before an interview was, “talk about how you would bring literacy in the classroom, even if they don’t ask you directly, work it into an answer somehow!” That’s pretty much all I knew. It had to be incorporated somehow, students will read, write, listen, and speak for many different topics. As a result of this class, however, I have learned a great deal about what literacy actually is, and how it can be implemented into the classroom effectively to enhance student learning.
    As for the Anticipation Guide, many of my ideas remain the same, a few though I have changed my opinion as a result of this class. Number 5, about the textbooks, originally I would have said that textbooks are a great resource for the students, and that it is just important for the teachers to make sure the students understand how to use them (such as a textbook scavenger hunt). Now, however, I would say that a textbook is not adequate enough for students. It is important to incorporate journals, magazines, and books to give the students a variety of sources to aid in their understanding of a topic.
    Additionally, Number 3, about the vocabulary, I would have thought that it was a great idea to teach vocabulary throughout the lesson because I thought it wouldn’t be as overwhelming, and students can get a grasp on how the vocabulary word is used. Now I feel like the vocabulary strategies, especially the Frayer Model, which make the students do the work finding the connections of each word with the content so that when it is then heard in the lesson, they already have been familiarized with the word and are concentrating more on the content.
    My views on literacy have been greatly expanded, and I feel as though I am ready to successfully implement these into the classroom. THANKS!

  20. I have always told my students “Math is everywhere!”. The same is true for reading – “Reading is everywhere!” I think that for me the hardest part of implementing the reading strategies into the math classroom was the fact that I didn’t have any solid MATH examples.

    Jessica’s comment on the question about teachers being responsible for making students life long readers is true. We can only do the best we can do to model good reading and give the students examples of good reading strategies. We will not be able to make a student a life long reader. It is important to note that teachers are not the only people in a student’s life. Modeling good reading should also come from friends, parents, and others.

    Life long readers make life long learners and it is in part my responsibility to give my students the tools and skills that they will need to make that happen.

    The numerous text resources available for use in endless – especially when a textbook is nonexistant in your classroom. Being able to bring in alternate text resources allows students to see that they are not limited to one particular book.

    It would have been interesting to answer the same questions today that we had answered on the first day of the session. I’m sure that some of our answers would have been different.

  21. That first night when we all thought about those questions I realized that I had some misconceptions about learning and my responsibilities to my students.

    I think that I still believe that students should have solid reading skills, but that teachers should understand that you have to teach with the understanding that your students probably will not all be reading at the same level.

    I agree that students would learn vocabulary better if taught in the context of the lesson. My opinion on this has not changed.

    I also continue to agree with the fact that teaching reading strategies in the content areas will NOT take away from class time. It is important to remember what our goals, as teachers are.

    I have changed one opinion though. I know understand why the teacher is responsible for creating lifelong readers. It is important for teaching students, after they leave your classroom, to want to read, to understand what they are reading to become educated citizens.

  22. On that first night of class compared to today my ideas have not changed except for one concept. In question 6 ‘Reading independently is a passive experience’, I agreed with that assessment. Will now after this class I would have to disagree. To make stutents better learners and readers independent reading ‘absolutely’ needs to be an active experience. When students are involved in critically thinking about subject material and then summarizing or debating what they have read it broadens and deepens their knowledge.
    My general thought on what I anticipated has not changed at all, but what I do have at the end of class is the skills, tools, and activities to use in the classroom. Like so many of my classmates have stated, I will definitely be implementing several of these ideas. I have not only been given the knowledge but the handouts as well. The other key point is I have been in the process and know first hand how to do these activities.
    The next step is anticipating what comes next. I believe all teachers need to make students better in all subject, especially literacy. I also need to make sure to implement as many strategies as I possibly can so I am a better educator and my students gain more knowledge.
    I never really gave it much thought how many literacy terms are in my specialty area of Physics. Now looking back at it there are thousands-it includes all subject matter. There are so many opportunities to literacy that it is almost mind-boggling. I look forward to the next step of my education as well as the education of my future students.

  23. After reviewing the anticipation guide, I can say none of my answers have changed. However, that being said, I knew intuitively what we should be doing as educators, but the mechanics of how to implement all of these wonderful strategies was missing. I now have a functional framework and toolbox for utilization to become successful at fostering literacy at all levels of education.
    I still believe that students should have solid reading and writing skills by the time they reach middle school. This is an expectation and a goal that will never be reached in its entirety, but we must strive to achieve it. Even if a goal seems unachievable it does not infer that it is an unrealistic goal. If this were the case many of the fantastic discoveries, inventions, and human triumphs would never have occurred. This places the bulk of the foundational responsibilities on our elementary school teachers. Now don’t misunderstand me, ALL teachers, in all contents, could and should be teaching and reinforcing student literacy, but the acquisition of the foundational and elemental components should be the ultimate goal of elementary and intermediate education. As we have learned, literacy is the linchpin in the process of true understanding and as a result it should be the primary focus of our early education.
    I intend to utilize these strategies at the secondary level, as there will be students who are deficient in their literacy skills, and further development and mastery are the ultimate goals of our schools. I am excited to have the tools to help the delayed, average and gifted students further develop all aspects of literacy which will ultimately help them master whatever content it is we are teaching.

  24. I know I have always had a strong appreciaion for literacy, but I really spent more time focuses on modeling and using these strategies during reading and writin workshop. But, after this class, I walk away with an even more heightened outlook on my need to do these strategies ALL DAY LONG! As an elementary school teacher I need to start building even more literacy in math and science so that when my students come to you secondary teachers they will already know how it fits together! I will be using a lot more literacy strategies during my content area time in the classroom so that students begin to use these strategies on an ongoing basis independently.

  25. I totally agree with Michael Tiffany’s statement:

    “I knew intuitively what we should be doing as educators, but the mechanics of how to implement all of these wonderful strategies was missing.”

    There has not been a doubt in my mind that literacy should be taught in all content areas. I truly believe that the students really “understand” information when they are able to articulate the information. As for anticipation guides, I still feel that they are very important, especially for the poor and beginning readers. I like to think of anticipation guide like a movie preview…They get you thinking and wanting to see more!

  26. Similar to what Sara Rizzo expressed, I would say that my thoughts have “grown”, more than they have “changed” through the progression of this course. I was initially a bit unsure of exactly “how” literacy could be incorporated into the Physics classroom in a useful way, even though I was aware that literacy is important. After learning about the strategies that we were introduced to in this course, I can now see myself using a variety of these activities to promote content area learning while developing student literacy skills at the same time.
    I agree with Jason Cofield in the respect that I have never taught, and so there are some things that may not be clear until I have gained some in-class experience. I also have concern about something that Michael Tiffany eluded to, when he stated: “I still believe that students should have solid reading and writing skills by the time they reach middle school… …This places the bulk of the foundational responsibilities on our elementary school teachers.” My concern is that many of the students that I will be teaching at the 11th or 12th grade level will not be at (or near) the level of literacy they should be. I am certainly more than willing to accept such a challenge, I am just a little unsure of exactly what to expect until I have spent some time in the classroom. To quote once again from Michael Tiffany: “I am excited to have the tools to help the delayed, average and gifted students further develop all aspects of literacy”

  27. My thoughts on literacy are similar to what both Rich and Sara have expressed that they have not so much changed but defiantly grown drastically. As I have mentioned in previous blogs I had never really thought about literacy in the a science classroom. At the beginning of this course I thought ok so now I know I have to incorporate literacy in my classroom but how am I going to do that! This class has opened my eyes and given me an excellent resource to use in my future classroom. Through reading through all the blogs I have really gained some insight and learned something things that I personally never would have thought of. When I think of our blogging I can compare it to the expression to heads are better then one. We are given all this literacy stuff to think about and that fact that we are able to write our feelings on various topics in literacy and post it for the rest of our classmates to read I think is wonderful and has really taught me and all of us a lot. I too am not a practicing teacher yet so I am a little unsure of what to expect exactly in the classroom however, I am extremely thankful for having this preparation and I am fully ready and aware of the challenges that face me in my future classroom!

  28. When I started this class, I could see the value of developing literacy in the content areas. I was definitely aware that it would benefit our students and help them to be more successful in life and school. But the cool thing is…we now have a binder full of tools and strategies to infuse literacy into the classroom.
    On the first nite of class, you never know what to expect, from who will you know in your class, to how many projects, readings, assignments will this class require? It was cool to walk into a technological tool that we had to make sense of, and use right away. Great way to pique our interest right off the bat!
    As far as if my thoughts and answers have changed from the anticipation guide, I’d have to say that my feelings on the textbooks has changed. I believe I had agreed that textbooks provide adequate reading passages for all students. That was said without a lot of thought. I was just thinking that textbooks are a pretty good way to learn. I wan’t saying that that was all students needed to learn. I was assuming that other alternative texts and resources would also be used. I believe more than ever, that students will learn better through a variety of menus – magazines, videos, internet, role playing, discussions. Thankfully, we, as teachers, can offer these alternatives to our students that will enhance and clarify what they are reading simultaneously in the textbooks. We must also remember, though, that all of these can and should be infused throughout the entire curriculum.
    By using the strategies and ideas provided to us throughout the course, we will incorporate our pre, during and post reading strategies.
    I liked Andrea’s comment, that after what she has learned this summer, she will no longer look down on elementary teachers for not doing a good enough job in getting all students to be fabulous readers. Thank you! But I am excited to know,that the torch will be passed, and it will be up to all teachers to help our students to be lifelong readers.
    I usually do a read aloud every day. From now on, I will be looking for exciting texts that offer learning possibilities for the students and model as I go. I’m psyched!


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